We in Canada and other nations who suggest that the Bush administration is on a disastrous course and unworthy of support are frequently charged with “anti-Americanism” — a vain and peculiar folly, or a moral crime akin to racism …
Johano Strasser, president of the German PEN Center, the international writers’ organization that defends freedom of expression, said that if disagreeing with the United States meant being anti-American, “I know many Americans who are also anti-American.
“I think it’s nonsense to talk about pro-Americanism and anti-Americanism,” he said. “People have different opinions on very important political questions. Let’s talk about the opinions and not the motivation behind them.”
This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.
In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration’s domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition, under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.
In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.
… In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years.
One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.
But to turn one’s frustration and anger into the kind of extremely destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.
Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent.
::Sarah Lyall, New York Times: A Sense of Fine Qualities Trampled and of Something ‘Terribly Wrong’
::US Senator Robert Byrd, Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences via BookNotes